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Sample Term Paper on Understanding social force and the theoretical perspective

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Sample Term Paper on Understanding social force and the theoretical perspective


A social force has been defined as anything within society that has the power and capability to bring about change or inspire a certain group of people to bring about change in their lives. Theoretical perspectives on the other hand,try to give an explanation why people behave in a particular way and the reason to why they relate in a given way and why the world functions as it does. In relation to the social force, a theoretical viewpoint gives the broad dimension as to why a given social force held the power to rapid people towards social change and social action. In order to fully understand the dynamics between the two, it is imperative that a person visits the history of the questioned society.By analyzing the history, one is able to understand its impact by relating it to the modern day society. For the sake of this paper, an interview will be held to show the relationship between the social force and the theoretical perspective. It will also give a better dynamic of the situation leading to the event from an actual first hand perspective(Parpart, Connelly & Barriteau, 2000).

Social Force Information

The current economic climate is very volatile. The unemployment rate has risen while the general cost of life has risen(Krugman, 2009). This has left people in a dire situation as each person strives to survive and make it to the next day. It has also meant that people have been forced to spend more in terms of social support to those who have all over sudden found themselves dependent due to the sudden loss of employment. Some have likened the current economic situation to the occurrences of the great depression(Krugman, 2009).Now, as happens in all times and circumstances of great strain, people are forced by the circumstance around them to result to measures aimed at ensuring their survival. The interesting aspect is that even after the time of tribulation has passed and the events concurred, people will still retain some of the habits that they had learnt. In essence, unlearning them becomes an impossibility and at times will be passed on to future generations who will carry them on oblivious of the real reason as to why they actually do the habit, to them it is a way of life that they found learnt and will later on be willing agents of socialization to future generations after them(Parpart, Connelly & Barriteau, 2000).

It is with this in mind that I noticed that my father had always had the habit of putting change in a jar then putting the jar in his drawer which he always locked. The reason for this according to him was that they would come in handy at a future date when he would retrieve them when he was broke and needed money. It seemed a reasonable cause for the behavior if one took it at face value;yet the fact was that to the fullest of my memory the change in the jar was never retrieved at any moment. In fact, over the years he had collected a number of jars which interestingly he never took to the bank but just kept them under lock and key.Interstingly, the habit of keeping change in a jar had rubbed off on me too from my father. Nevertheless, it was not until I was with my grandfather and saw him store his change in the exact same way that I noticed that it had to be a pattern that was beyond a simple saving culture. It was then that I decided to interview him regarding the habit.

The Interviewss

It was on Saturday the 19th December at 1 pm at my grandfather’s house in Austin Texas. Given the familial relationship, it would be a difficult sell for him to accept outr interaction as an official interview. Nevertheless, based on the ethical standards set for sociologists, it was imperative that I met all ethical standards involved in the conducting of an interview for academic purposes. So instead,I decided to take my time to explain the official dimension that the interview held given that it was going to be part of my school project. I introduced myself as a student in SOC 101 at MMCC. With his express permission I intended to interview him for my class project purposes only. Any information regarding him that was private in nature would be kept confidential.

My Field work Experience

Question for the interview:

Why do you always keep change in a jar without the plan to ever use it again?

According to him, his father, my great grandfather, had survived the great depression. What is even more commendable was that he was a young man at the time who was just starting a family. Jobs were hard to come by and the little money one had, meant that they survived the day or slept hungry. Given the gender socialization, it was difficult for him as a man to sleep with the knowledge that his family slept hungry(Parpart, Connelly & Barriteau, 2000). This meant that every coin that he came across, as well as my great grandfather’s older siblings, had to be used economically yet optimally. The problem however was the wave of crime that had come to engulf the people(Freedman, 2005). As a means of survival people had begun to steal, it therefore meant that keeping coins for a future date may have been a means for survival but it also meant that one could invite robbers anytime. The collapse of the banking system meant that people were wary of taking their money to the bank(Freedman, 2005). Seeing this, his wife, my great grandmother, began to hide the coins she had in a jar she kept her sewing needles and threads. It was then hidden in their drawer to avoid its view from everyone.

My great grandfather was intrigued by the ingenuity and took it up to keep any change he had into the jar and safely keep it in a safe place which at the time was the drawer. The great depression may have ended but the habit carried on. The jar held a central place in the family dynamics where every member though not explicitly told, was implicitly expected to place change in the jar. It was aimed at being a litigation measure in case of a rainy day and no one was expected to take money from it unless it was for the benefit of the family as a unit(White, 1991). My grandfather was socialized into the culture and in his turn socialized my father into it. As such, a social force carried on in generations in the family(“Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology”, 2015).

Theoretical Perspective

            20th century sociologist Emile Durkheim set out explaining social phenomenon. In the course of his research which interestingly was aimed at explaining the difference between suicide rate between Catholics and Protestants Emile Durkheim came across the power of social solidarity and social ties. In times of tribulation and challenges, people with a commonality such as family members tend to come together and each individual plays a role in ensuring that the family as a unit survives. In essence, the needs of the family take precedence over the needs of the individual; people will take measures to ensure the family survives even when it is not expected of them(White, 1991). In the great depression, putting whatever change one had into the jar was a survival means and everyone gladly complied(“Sociology’s Four Theoretical Perspectives: Structural-Functional, Social Conflict, Feminism & Symbolic Interactionism – Video & Lesson Transcript |”, 2016).


It was therefore interesting that even after the depression had passed there was still the impulsive need to keep money in a jar hidden somewhere in the house as a strategy to survive in case the depression was to occur again. Now, here comes the correlation between the theoretical perspective and the social force. The hiding of money in a jar was a strategy born out of social solidarity aimed at survival. However, with the passage of time it evolved to become a habit that would be socialized to every member of our family for generations to come(Parpart, Connelly & Barriteau, 2000).

















Freedman, R. (2005). Children of the Great Depression. New York: Clarion Books.

Krugman, P. (2009). The return of depression economics and the crisis of 2008. New York: W.W. Norton.

Parpart, J., Connelly, P., & Barriteau, E. (2000). Theoretical perspectives on gender and development. Ottawa: International Development Research Centre.

Sociology’s Four Theoretical Perspectives: Structural-Functional, Social Conflict, Feminism & Symbolic Interactionism – Video & Lesson Transcript | (2016).

Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology. (2015). Boundless

White, J. (1991). Dynamics of family development. New York: Guilford Press.

Witt, J., & Witt, J. SOC 2016.


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